Council approves changes to streamline British Rowing

British Rowing Chairman Di Ellis

On Saturday 24 September, rowing representatives from across the UK gathered in Marlow for the biennial British Rowing conference and agreed a series of proposals to streamline British Rowing.

One of the most significant changes of policy after the weekend-long conference was the decision to appoint two independent directors, as well as the formation of a new Sport Committee – fundamentally altering the way that decisions will be made within British Rowing.

Council has already announced the decision to appoint a Chief Executive Officer to oversee the running of British Rowing, but the addition of two independent directors to the British Rowing leadership will ensure the robust governance of the organisation in the run up to the next Whole Sport Plan.

‘When we put the present structure together we had just 10 permanent staff,’ British Rowing Chairman Di Ellis said in August this year. ‘Now we have around 100 staff, with a multi-million pound turnover.’

The conference also saw the acceptance of a major revision of the Committees, Commissions, and Council of British Rowing, with the addition of a Sport Committee – adding another layer of governance with a focus on developing the sport.

British Rowing will now comprise of three specific entities; the Council, the Executive Board, and the Sport Committee.

The Council remains the supreme governing body of British Rowing – responsible for strategy, policy, budgeting, and membership – and consists of representatives of the British Rowing regions and company directors.

The Executive Board, meanwhile, will continue the general management of British Rowing activities – with authority delegated by the Council – and consists of the company board of directors.

The new Sport Committee will consist of the chairmen of the national committees for Competition, Coaching, Junior Rowing, Masters Rowing, Water Safety, and Umpiring, as well as the chairmen of the Medical Committee, representatives of vulnerable groups and major/national events, and an elected chairman. Representatives of other groups may be added in the future, as appropriate. 

The Sport Committee will be the co-ordinating committee tasked with developing the sport of rowing – through activities, initiatives, and policies within the remit of the represented committees.

‘The creation of a Sport Committee will ensure that policies can be formed in the most efficient and time effective way, in addition to acting as a visionary think tank,’ Ellis added.